Mainstream Weekly

Home > 2023 > Patriotic Criminals and Anti-National criminals | Sandeep Pandey

Mainstream, VOL 61 No 24, June 10, 2023

Patriotic Criminals and Anti-National criminals | Sandeep Pandey

Friday 9 June 2023, by Sandeep Pandey


Seven women wrestlers have filed a First Information Report about sexual harassment by Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, a six times Member of Parliament and president of the Wrestling Federation of India. One of the survivors who is a minor, thereby invoking the stringent Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, has after prolonged protests and the accused roaming around freely, mysteriously withdrawn the charges against Singh. The wrestlers, some of them international medal-winning ones, protested on the street at Jantar Mantar for over a month only to be humiliatingly removed by the police on the day the new Indian Parliament was being inaugurated. The police instead of taking any action against the accused, who was attending the ceremony at the new Parliament, filed cases against the wrestlers. Making an accused out of a victim is a standard Bhartiya Janta Party ploy used against dissenting students, farmers, intellectuals, Muslims and Dalits. Sometimes, the target could be totally innocent people whose only fault is that they are in disagreement with the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh ideology in general or don’t fit in with the idea of a virtual Hindu Rashtra.

When the Delhi Commission for Women Chairperson Swati Maliwal went to meet the protesting female wrestlers she was packed inside a police van and removed from the spot. What can be a more egregious incidence of police not allowing a statutory authority from performing his/her duty, a section under law that the police too often uses against demonstrators of all kinds. The manhandling of the wrestlers by police on 28 May when their protest site was also physically wound up from Jantar Mantar has drawn international opprobrium. An international body concerned with this sport, United World Wrestling has threatened to suspend the Wrestling Federation of India. The Hindutva supporters who are too quick to accuse anybody who attempts to highlight the intolerant atmosphere in the country today as defaming India should now be asked if the government’s mishandling of female wrestlers’ issue is not grievously harming the reputation of the country.

Meanwhile, wrestlers have been driven to such desperation that they have threatened to immerse their medals, won at important international sporting events, in Ganga and go on indefinite hunger strike. The government maintains a stoic silence. What can be expected from Narendra Modi who, in 2018, allowed Professor G.D. Agrawal aka Swami Gyani Swaroop Sanand to die on the 112th of his fast in Haridwar to save Ganga from degradation, after four letters written to the Prime Minister by the legendary scientist-saint? The people who head this government are the coldest and most insensitive rulers India has witnessed in a long time.

In the past, the intellectuals who returned their government awards in response to shocking incidents like the broad daylight killing of independent-minded scholar-activists Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, Professor M.M. Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh were described as pseudo-intellectuals or anti-national. We wonder how would the Hindutva brigade now like to describe the protesting wrestlers or the members of the 1983 World Cup winning India cricket team, minus Roger Binny, who have come out in support of wrestlers?

BJP used to describe itself as a party with a difference. Today Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, after successfully somehow managing to save themselves from judicial action for overseeing heart-rending crimes committed in Gujarat, protect criminals in their party for reasons of political expediency. So, while M.J. Akbar had to swiftly ‘resign’ when faced with charges of sexual harassment, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh continues to enjoy the confidence of Modi-Shah essentially because he holds sway over politics of a region, which includes Ayodhya, important for BJP in Uttar Pradesh. Similarly, patronage to State Union Home Minister Ajay Mishra Teni and his son has been extended in the past after the son, Ashish Mishra, now out of bail, rode his jeep over farmers protesting upon provocation from the Minister himself, killing four Sikh farmers and a journalist.

Compare the magnanimity being shown to these criminals with the continued incarceration of extraordinarily intelligent students like Umar Khalid or Sharjeel Imam or the 12 outstanding citizens who are accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, all of whom have been falsely implicated under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, or the revocation of Rahul Gandhi’s membership from the Parliament merely because he cut a joke on the Modi surname.

Why is this so-called nationalist party humiliating some of the best citizens of this country and on the other hand protecting criminals on its side? The reason is obvious. The RSS-BJP casts people in only two categories – patriotic or anti-national. So, there are anti-national criminals like Atiq Ahmed or Vikas Dubey who deserved to be killed by shooting on camera or in an accident of a police vehicle, respectively, and then there are patriotic criminals like Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and Ajay Mishra Teni. Slogans like Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao, and Khelo India are only for public consumption which can be dispensed with for higher RSS-BJP project of creating a Hindu Rashtra. Women, anyway, don’t matter as they are forbidden from RSS membership. They can only be part of Rashtriya Sewika Sangh, meant to serve the religious nationalist patriarchy which is fast sliding towards a monarchy with proper Sengol symbolism as witnessed in the inauguration of the new Parliament building.

(Author: Sandeep Pandey is General Secretary of Socialist Party (India) )

ISSN (Mainstream Online) : 2582-7316 | Privacy Policy
Notice: Mainstream Weekly appears online only.